Martha Stewart's Cooking School: Episode 1, Eggs

Martha Stewart's Cooking School: Episode 1, Eggs
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia

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It seems fitting for Martha Stewart to kick off her latest series, Martha Stewart's Cooking School, with eggs, since it's the way many of us begin our days. We all make eggs, and often, in a variety of ways, but are we cooking them properly, and are they the best they can be? Anyone who's ever choked down a rubbery egg knows they're easy to screw up, so in this episode, Martha gives us tips on how to, well, not do that. We followed closely, then gave one of her recipes a shot, which yielded mixed results. But first, Martha's lesson.

Hard-boiled

  • Take eggs out of the refrigerator an hour before you plan to boil them.
  • Add eggs (8 -10) into cold water in a deep saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Turn flame off and remove saucepan from heat.
  • Cover and let sit for 13 minutes.
  • Immerse eggs in ice water.
  • Shell by tapping the broad side of the egg with the back of a spoon. Air pocket will be released, and shell will slide off more easily.

Soft-boiled

  • Bring a saucepan of water to 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Add room-temperature eggs, cooking three minutes for a soft yolk, four for slightly firmer, and six for firmer still. (Martha like a four-minute egg.)
  • Remove from boiling water and slice open with a serrated knife.
  • Serve in an egg cup, or in a shallow dish with "toast soldiers," or toast sliced into quarters.

Scrambled

  • Add one tablespoon of butter to a small nonstick saucepan on low heat.
  • Beat 2-3 eggs without adding milk or water. Martha thinks it's unnecessary.
  • Add eggs to saucepan, moving the constantly with a spatula.
  • Serve on a heated plate.

Fried

  • Add a little less than a tablespoon of butter to an 8-inch nonstick pan.
  • Heat until the butter sizzles.
  • Crack egg into pan, being careful not to break the yolk.
  • Cover if you wish to set the yolk.
  • Here, unfortunately, Martha did not specify a number of minutes to cook the egg, but it appeared to be just a couple for a runny yolk.

Frittata

  • Preheat oven to broil.

  • Beat 12 eggs with a 1/4 cup heavy cream.
  • Add oil or butter to a 10-inch nonstick pan and cook desired filling (vegetables, sausage, ham, etc.)
  • Pour eggs overtop filling.
  • Raise heat to medium.
  • Cook three minutes on stovetop, moving eggs away from the sides of the pan with a rubber spatula.
  • Move pan to oven. Cook 1 1/2 minutes.
  • Serve on a heated plate.

Omelet

  • Add 1 tablespoon of clarified butter to a 7-inch nonstick pan.
  • Heat pan until hot but not smoking.
  • Beat three eggs and add to pan.
  • Pull eggs to center, lightly scrambling.
  • Add filling to center.
  • Fold in thirds for a French-style omelet, in half for American-style.
  • Serve on a heated plate.

Now, we've made frittatas dozens of times, and they've never failed, despite never using the same filling twice, nor ever using a timer. But Martha's method was quite different than ours, so we decided to give hers a whirl.

On the show, Martha made an onion, potato and goat cheese frittata that looked fabulous, though unfortunately we had none of those items in the house. But one of the best things about frittatas is that they're a kitchen sink meal -- whatever you have on hand will usually work in it. In this case, we had some leftover fried zucchini from last night's dinner, (this is a great use of leftovers by the way. Leftover short ribs are a dream in frittatas) sour cream and red pepper flakes.

 

We preheated the oven, then heated the zucchini through in a nonstick skillet. We then added the beaten eggs, to which we added two-percent milk instead of cream, since it was what was in the fridge. Next came a dollops of sour cream and a generous sprinkle of red pepper flakes.

We pulled the eggs away from the sides with a spatula as Martha suggested, but this didn't seem necessary. The pan was nonstick, and buttered. We've never had a frittata not slip right out.

After three minute it was into the oven, which clearly we did not let preheat long enough. After a minute and a half, the frittata was nowhere near done. We ended up leaving it in the oven for a whopping eight minutes. But look at that puff!

Martha Stewart's Cooking School: Episode 1, Eggs
A. Trachta

It was oh-so-beautiful until we slid it out of the pan, only for it to flop in the middle, we think, due to being just barely undercooked in the center.

We may go back to our less puffy yet more fool-proof method of making a frittata, which involves just a few minutes on the stovetop over medium heat, then 20 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees. Less voluminous, but always perfectly cooked.

What are your tips, tricks and secrets to cooking eggs? Share your genius, please.


Follow Ali Trachta on Twitter @MySo_CalLife. Follow Squid Ink at @LAWeeklyFood and check out our Facebook page.

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